March 30, 2008

Merciful Jesus, I Trust in You!

God bless Pope John Paul II, of happy memory, for granting the Universal Church the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy in A.D. 2000!

I know the Divine Mercy is special to many. For those of us of Polish ancestry the devotion predates the year 2000, so it is an immense joy to us Poles that a Polish sister and a Polish Pope brought the devotion from Christ to the world.

Looking back, I'm convinced that Divine Mercy played a large role in my reversion. I recall how a few years before I came back, a dissident priest that I know was moved to tears reading the Gospel of this day "Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe" I wondered why Father was so moved.

There is a lot of indescribable power in this day.

We have the Indulgence for those who meet the conditions attached, the culmination of the Novena and the Chaplet

I highly recommend the Chaplet. I pray the Chaplet daily. It's simple, it's basic, quick and easy to learn. Saying that, don't make the mistake of confusing those adjectives for meaningless. It's packed with meaning. It was one of the first devotions I started as I was coming back-along with the Rosary. Paired together it's miraculous.

Today's Gospel is one of my favorite readings from my favorite Gospel (my absolutely favorite is the Last Gospel). See here the reference to the power of the Sacrament of Confession, the closing statement of who Jesus is, as well as one of the most beautiful ejaculations of Faith we have: "My Lord and My God!" Like the Divine Mercy Chaplet it's so simple, so profound, so revolutionary. I recite St. Thomas' declaration silently during the elevation and after I've returned to my pew from receiving Communion. Actually, I find myself saying it a lot: at Adoration, Communion, and the Consecration. Remember, it is the Lord.

Yet, sometimes, we, like St. Thomas, doubt don't we? This is the day to remove all doubt.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe."
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing."
Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.--John 20:19-31

There is a list of Divine Mercy devotions in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis here


Blogger Unknown said...

I remember about 15 years ago or so when I started to get out of low gear in my never ending reversion process, I decided that I needed help from some saints.

But I figured all the popular saints like St Francis of Assisi would be too busy to worry about me and my problems.

So I decided to choose a couple of Polish religious who I figured that nobody would ever have heard of so they would have plenty of time for me: Blessed Faustina (Helen Smith) Kowalska and Saint Maximilian Kolbe (whose birthname was Raymond "Corncob", by the way).

Wow! I'm glad I got in early with those two because devotions to them soon exploded around the world. I think you have to have reservations now.

March 30, 2008 8:35 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: I'm pretty sure they still have time for you-no reservations needed! :-)

March 30, 2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I went to St Bonaventure in Bloomington instead of the Cathedral for the Divine Mercy devotions. I didn't realize they had Franciscan priests there. So I wanted to check them out. But their Deacon substituted and did a nice job on the service today. There must have been upwards of 300 people there (mostly older).

The Deacon mentioned in his sermon that over 43 parishes in the Archdiocese scheduled Divine Mercy devotions yesterday or today.

We said the "Divine Mercy Praises." The Deacon blessed a DM image and then we all venerated it individually. Then we said the chaplet and ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and then a social hour.

Modern church structure, built in 1967. But quite large and nice. Not enough stained glass and statuary, of course. Stations of the Cross that you cant distinguish from more than six feet away.

One adult server! How do people expect that boys will become interested in the priesthood if they don't use them at Mass and devotions in the parish, giving them important things to do?

One thing that I kind of liked. They passed around a sheet during the social hour so people could make suggestions as to how to improve the devotions next year. I like that kind of participation.

It would have been nice if they had kneelers (prie-dieux)in front of the Divine Mercy image during the veneration. Some folks (suffering from "arthur-itis") have a difficult time getting down on their knees (the easy part) and then standing up without something to grab on to.

March 30, 2008 5:47 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: That sounds like a terrific DM devotion.

I went to St. Agnes' DM hour and Sunday Vespers. It was well done. They had a pretty good turnout-much more than the usual Vespers. But, you are right, there were a LOT of options this year so people could choose from many different parishes this year. Praise God!

March 30, 2008 6:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It really was great, Cathy.

I've been to the Cathedral twice, St Agnes once, and Holy Family once, and it was a better experience. Of course those visits were a few years ago and I'm sure all parishes are improving their devotions each year.

There hasn't been a thing like this in the Church since before Vatican II.

March 30, 2008 7:07 PM  

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